Colin Kaepernick's ex-teammates wonder why he hasn't been signed

By Alex Butler  |  April 11, 2017 at 9:56 AM
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April 11 (UPI) -- Two of Colin Kaepernick's former San Francisco 49ers teammates don't know why the free agent remains unsigned.

While T.J. Yates, Matt McGloin, Brian Hoyer, Mike Glennon, Josh McCown all signed offseason deals, Kaepernick remains on the prowl for a job. Carlos Hyde and NaVorro Bowman are perplexed and say their former quarterback is better than some of the ones who have been signed.

"I've seen some quarterbacks who got signed that, in my opinion, Kap is way better than," Hyde told CSN Bay Area. "But, you know, I'm not a GM. I'm not a head coach. So that's out of my league."

Bowman pointed to Kaepernick's experience and character. Kaepernick gained positive and negative attention last season after deciding to kneel during the national anthem before every game to protest police brutality and racial inequality. He plans to stand for the pregame ceremony this season.

He also won the Len Eshmont Award last season, given to the 49ers player who is the most courageous and inspirational on the team.

"He's proven that he can play at this level," Bowman told CSN Bay Area. "He's made a choice that's kind of had a little backlash from it. But I think he'll be fine. Someone will give him a job. He's not like a bad guy or anything. So I think that's what matters in the NFL, if you can play level and your character is great. So I wish him the best."

Hoyer and Matt Barkley top the team's depth chart at quarterback, after rumors that the 49ers were trying to bring in Washington Redskins arm Kirk Cousins died off.

Kaepernick opted out of his contract on March 3, leaving $16.9 million on the table. He is 28-30 as a starting quarterback during his six-year NFL career. Kaepernick, 29, completed 59.2 percent of his passes last season for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns, and four interceptions. He also scrambled for 468 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

New 49ers general manager John Lynch told KNBR in March that Kaepernick was "nearly signed," before his deal fell through, on the second day of free agency.

"I don't know what happened to that market [for Kaepernick] because when we added our second guy, at that time, I can just tell you, you learn things," Lynch told KNBR. "And he was in everyone's mind in this league very close to signing a deal with a team at a really good number. And it fell through, apparently."

Kaepernick is looking to compete for a starting job, according to ESPN. According to the report, he was looking for $9 million to $10 million annually. But Pro Football Talk contradicted that report, saying that those demands are false.

In March, NBC Sports Bay Area reported that teams are concerned about Kaepernick's vegan diet and his dedication to the game.

NFL coaches and general managers told NFL.com that they "believe" Kaepernick is looking for "almost $10 million" annually.

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